A-31405, MAY 8, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 468

A-31405: May 8, 1930

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THE FISCAL YEAR LIMITATIONS ARE NOT APPLICABLE. THE FUNDS SO AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED ARE AVAILABLE THEREFOR UNTIL EXHAUSTED OR UNTIL THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PURPOSE OR PURPOSES FOR WHICH MADE AVAILABLE. 1930: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12. IS AN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1930. OR CONTINUES IN EFFECT UNTIL ALL EXPENSES HAVE BEEN PAID OR THE APPROPRIATION IS EXHAUSTED. THE FULL TEXT OF THE APPROPRIATION AS CONTAINED IN THE ACT CITED IS AS FOLLOWS: THERE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED. THE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE IN SUCH SUMS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO REIMBURSE SAID ATTORNEYS FOR SUCH PROPER AND NECESSARY EXPENSES AS MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED OR MAY BE INCURRED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF RECORDS AND PREPARATION.

A-31405, MAY 8, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 468

APPROPRIATIONS - FISCAL YEAR - INDIAN TRIBAL FUNDS UNDER AN APPROPRIATION MADE FROM TRIBAL FUNDS IN AN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACT AUTHORIZING THE EXPENDITURE OF A CERTAIN AMOUNT STANDING TO THE CREDIT OF AN INDIAN TRIBE OR NATION FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES NOT LIMITED TO A FISCAL YEAR, THE FISCAL YEAR LIMITATIONS ARE NOT APPLICABLE, AND THE FUNDS SO AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED ARE AVAILABLE THEREFOR UNTIL EXHAUSTED OR UNTIL THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PURPOSE OR PURPOSES FOR WHICH MADE AVAILABLE.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, MAY 8, 1930:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 12, 1930, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER THE APPROPRIATION MADE FROM TRIBAL FUNDS BY THE ACT OF MARCH 4, 1929, 45 STAT. 1585, FOR THE PURPOSE OF REIMBURSING THE SPECIAL ATTORNEYS OF THE CHOCTAW INDIAN NATION FOR NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED BY THEM IN THE PREPARATION, INSTITUTION, AND PROSECUTION OF SUITS OF THE CHOCTAW NATION AGAINST THE UNITED STATES, IS AN ANNUAL APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1930, LAPSING ON JUNE 30, 1930, OR CONTINUES IN EFFECT UNTIL ALL EXPENSES HAVE BEEN PAID OR THE APPROPRIATION IS EXHAUSTED.

THE FULL TEXT OF THE APPROPRIATION AS CONTAINED IN THE ACT CITED IS AS FOLLOWS:

THERE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED, OUT OF ANY MONEY NOW STANDING TO THE CREDIT OF THE CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS, OR TO THE CREDIT OF EITHER OF SAID NATIONS, IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES, THE SUM OF NOT EXCEEDING $30,000, TO BE PAID, IN THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, TO ATTORNEYS FOR SAID CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS, OR TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR EITHER OF SAID INDIAN NATIONS, EMPLOYED UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE ACT APPROVED JUNE 7, 1924 (43 STAT. P. 537), THE PAYMENTS TO BE MADE IN SUCH SUMS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO REIMBURSE SAID ATTORNEYS FOR SUCH PROPER AND NECESSARY EXPENSES AS MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED OR MAY BE INCURRED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF RECORDS AND PREPARATION, INSTITUTION, AND PROSECUTION OF SUITS OF THE CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS, OR OF EITHER OF SAID INDIAN NATIONS, AGAINST THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE CLAIMS OF THE ATTORNEYS SHALL BE FILED BY SAID ATTORNEYS WITH THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AND SHALL BE ACCOMPANIED BY THE ATTORNEYS' ITEMIZED AND VERIFIED STATEMENT OF THE EXPENDITURES FOR EXPENSES AND BY PROPER VOUCHERS, AND THAT THE CLAIMS SO SUBMITTED SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT ANY SUMS ALLOWED AND PAID UNDER THIS ACT TO THE ATTORNEYS SHALL BE REIMBURSABLE TO THE CREDIT OF THE CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS, OR TO THE CREDIT OF EITHER OF SAID INDIAN NATIONS, AS THE CASE MAY BE, OUT OF ANY AMOUNT OR AMOUNTS WHICH MAY HEREAFTER BE DECREED BY THE COURT OF CLAIMS TO SAID ATTORNEYS OF THEIR SERVICES AND EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE TRIBAL CLAIMS AND SUITS OF THE CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS, OR OF EITHER OF SAID INDIAN NATIONS, UNDER THE ABOVE- MENTIONED ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924.

THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7 OF THE ACT OF AUGUST 24, 1912, 37 STAT. 487, TO THE EFFECT THAT NO SPECIFIC OR INDEFINITE APPROPRIATION MADE IN REGULAR ANNUAL APPROPRIATION ACTS SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO BE PERMANENT OR AVAILABLE CONTINUOUSLY WITHOUT REFERENCE TO A FISCAL YEAR UNLESS BELONGING TO CERTAIN CLASSES NOT HERE INVOLVED OR UNLESS MADE IN TERMS EXPRESSLY PROVIDING FOR ITS AVAILABILITY UNTIL EXPENDED, HAVE PARTICULAR APPLICATION TO APPROPRIATIONS MADE FROM PUBLIC FUNDS IN THE GENERAL FUND IN THE TREASURY AS DISTINGUISHED FROM AN AUTHORIZATION, AS IN THE PRESENT CASE, FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF TRIBAL FUNDS BELONGING TO AN INDIAN NATION. THIS SECTION OF THE ACT OF 1912 IS ESSENTIALLY A SUPPLEMENT TO SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 20, 1874, 18 STAT. 110, REQUIRING THAT THE UNEXPENDED BALANCES OF APPROPRIATIONS WHICH HAVE REMAINED ON THE BOOKS FOR TWO FISCAL YEARS SHALL BE CARRIED TO THE SURPLUS FUND AND COVERED INTO THE TREASURY. THE FUNDS FROM WHICH THE APPROPRIATION HERE IN QUESTION WAS MADE WILL NOT REVERT TO THE SURPLUS FUND, IF UNEXPENDED, BUT WILL REMAIN TO THE CREDIT OF THE CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS.

BY EXPRESS TERMS THE APPROPRIATION HERE UNDER CONSIDERATION PROVIDES THAT THE FUNDS AUTHORIZED TO BE EXPENDED SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO REIMBURSE SUCH ATTORNEYS "FOR SUCH PROPER AND NECESSARY EXPENSES AS MAY HAVE BEEN INCURRED OR MAY BE INCURRED IN THE INVESTIGATION OF RECORDS AND PREPARATION, INSTITUTION, AND PROSECUTION OF SUITS OF THE CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS OR OF EITHER OF SAID INDIAN NATIONS AGAINST THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE ABOVE-MENTIONED ACT OF JUNE 7, 1924.' CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT AN APPROPRIATION FROM TRIBAL FUNDS SUCH AS HERE INVOLVED DOES NOT REQUIRE A SETTING UP OF FUNDS UNDER AN APPROPRIATION ACCOUNT ON THE BOOKS OF THE TREASURY AND OF THIS OFFICE, BUT CONSTITUTES MERELY AN AUTHORIZATION TO EXPEND SUCH FUNDS WHICH ARE CARRIED ON SAID BOOKS TO THE CREDIT OF THE INDIAN NATIONS, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE FISCAL YEAR LIMITATIONS COULD HAVE NO APPLICATION TO SUCH CASES.

ACCORDINGLY, IN SPECIFIC ANSWER TO THE QUESTION SUBMITTED, I HAVE TO ADVISE THAT THE APPROPRIATION MADE FROM TRIBAL FUNDS FOR THE EXPENSE OF THE SPECIAL ATTORNEYS OF THE CHOCTAW AND CHICKASAW NATIONS OF INDIANS IS NOT AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 1930, BUT IS AN AUTHORIZATION FOR THE PAYMENT OF SUCH EXPENSES, IF AND WHEN APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH LAW, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH EXPENSES WERE INCURRED DURING THAT FISCAL YEAR OR PRIOR OR SUBSEQUENT THERETO.